Elephant’s Walk Shopping and Artist Village, Victoria Falls Zimbabwe

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Visiting Victoria Falls is an experience and stumbling across the nearby Elephant’s Walk Shopping and Artist Village was an extra added treat. It’s a central place where you can buy the most stunning art directly from the artists. This family run operation is also home to The Ruoko Project, a community based initiative spearheaded by management and the Ndau Collection. The Ruoko Project identifies local talent, giving them space to work, create and bring forth their masterpieces to the marketplace. There are plenty of shops selling everything from one of a kind paintings to larger than life sculptures.

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You will also find the most charming cafe with extra comfy, colourful seating within the plaza, a great place to relax in between shopping!

For more information on Elephants Walk Shopping and Artist Village click here.

 

3 Ingredient Pancakes- FLOURLESS

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My favourite breakfast consists of nothing other than a huge stack of pancakes, American style, fluffy and filling. I know that it isn’t the healthiest choice so I decided to try out an alternative that would satisfy my flapjack craving. I made flourless banana pancakes.  It turned out to be a light, easy, no guilt breakfast. They were absolutely great but I will say that they aren’t a replacement for the real deal, just an alternative.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas

2 eggs

1/8 teaspoon Gluten Free Baking Powder (can be left out)

(yields 3-4 pancakes)

Directions

In a bowl beat two eggs

Add baking powder to egg mixture

In a separate bowl mash the peeled ripe bananas (lumps are ok as it gives the pancakes it’s fluffiness)

Combine the egg mixture with the bananas

Stir until totally mixed or place in a blender and lightly pulse the mixture

Cook on a hot griddle or pan just as you would traditional pancakes (flip the pancake to cook through the other side).

Plate them up and top with butter, maple syrup and blueberries. I used Cloister  Whipped Honey with Cinnamon instead of syrup and it woke this dish up making it absolutely YUMMY!

*I have not mastered perfectly round pancakes but they are delicious just the same!*

Mmmmm Mmmmm Goood! Makes me think of one of my favourite artists, Jack Johnson singing “Banana Pancakes”

Cocoa’s Juice Concoctions: Little Red Riding Hood

Do you remember the story of Little Red Riding Hood? She walked into the forest on the path to Grandma’s house only to encounter a Big Bad Wolf. Well, the wolf takes advantage of her naivety and ultimately swallows her up. Much like Little Red Riding Hood, this juice is extremely mild and for those that like a bit of colour but not a whole lot of bite. It’s bright red due to the beetroot and accompanied by kale, spinach, celery, and just a small amount of ginger, it’s just perfectly balanced.

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London’s Eid Festival

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This past weekend was absolutely beautiful in London so we decided to head out to Trafalgar Square to enjoy London’s Eid Festival organised by the offices of the Mayor of London. Eid is an important religious holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The festival was fun for the entire family with plenty to do and see. There were cuisines from across the world (of course I was all into that), also educational booths, exhibits, face and henna painting as well as live entertainment of singing, Bollywood dancers, and much more.

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A real stand-out of the entire celebration was the Capture the Spirit of Ramadan exhibit that featured stunning photos that were submitted as a part of the International Ramadan Photography Competition (IRPC).

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Here are some of the shots that I was able to get in between having loads of fun and stuffing my face:

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Of course a trip to Trafalgar Square wouldn’t be complete without coming across street performers and the political activist types.

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The festival was fun, educational and bridged together many cultures for a fantastic time.

Chasing Birds: A Lesson From NuNu

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It started out as our normal mother/daughter day at the park. A little walk around, playtime on the adventure playground and a picnic with all of little NuNu’s favourite finger foods. It turned out to be much more than that in just a simple moment.

As we were about to leave the park a look of determination crossed NuNu’s face, she wailed with excitement and pointed and squealed. I looked over and saw nothing more than a bird hopping about on the ground (presumably looking for leftovers). NuNu saw it as something she wanted. I watched as she walked slowly, unsteadily trotting behind the bird in HOPES of getting a closer look or possibly to catch it.

 

She has seen plenty of birds fly away and this bird wasn’t any different. She followed that bird for a while, her little legs getting tired but she kept going. Eventually she stops as the bird flies away, she turned to me with a look of disappointment, loses her balance and plops to the ground. She didn’t cry but she jumped back up and found another bird. There is no doubt in my mind if I had allowed her to she would have stayed at the park trying to catch birds until late in the evening.

A child, so small, new to the world, has the ABILITY to teach us many things and one of them is a lesson in PERSEVERANCE. Since then, I’ve noticed that when we have our park dates she gravitates towards the birds and she keeps on trying. I allow her and I don’t dare tell her that she can’t.

Undoubtedly the world of a child is filled with more retorts of NO, STOP IT, and YOU CAN’T DO THAT, than any other stage of life but somehow they still try and they also know how to KEEP MOVING FORWARD with little to no idea of what the outcome will be. In that moment in the park, my 18 month old gave me a boost of CONFIDENCE without saying a word.

As adults sometimes we get dismayed, we need cheering squads, someone to say that we CAN do it but really most of the power to chase our dreams and at least TRY comes from WITHIN. So, the next time you feel as if you are one step from giving up, if you are feeling a lack of motivation or you feel as if you are drowning in a sea of No’s and shut doors, channel the will and determination of your inner child. The fearless one, the one that keeps going against all of the NO’s knowing that maybe just maybe you can catch that flying bird.

It always seems impossible until it’s done -Nelson Mandela

Jolly Roger Inn & Pier, Topsail Beach USA

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Though I spent most of my adult life moving around I always find my way back home and when I do, a fishing trip is always in order. Maybe it’s because deep down I’m a daddy’s girl but I somehow, always manage to talk my dad into taking me on a trip to the beach to do a little salt water fishing. My home town has loads of freshwater fishing holes but walking in the sand, smelling the salt from the Atlantic Ocean and hanging out on Jolly Roger’s Pier holds a bit of nostalgia for those daddy/daughter trips.

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There are loads of piers in the area but there is something about the atmosphere at Jolly Roger. On the pier you will find the friendliest fellow fishermen and women doing the usual teasing and laughing. It’s a real family environment. The Inn is perfect for the fish all night, lounge all day (or vice versa) types. We typically fish at night because my dad isn’t into extended sun exposure so while he is chilling out during the day we take to the beach. The rooms are super clean and the suites are equipped with all the amenities (refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave  and a flat tv that we never turn on).

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When it comes to Ocean Front, Jolly Roger Inn and Pier fits my style. No fuss, clean, simple and within walking distance of local restaurants and plenty of activities.

Will I go back? Yes, every time I visit North Carolina!

For Reservations & Information:

Jolly Roger Inn & Pier

Local: 910-328-4616

Toll-free: 800-633-3196

803 Ocean Blvd. PO Box 3008

Topsail Beach, NC 28445

www.thejollyroger.com

Banana Raspberry “Ice Cream” 3 Ingredients!

 I have a severe sweet tooth. I like to blame it all on being diagnosed with gestational diabetes very early into my pregnancy with NuNu, the insulin shots the finger sticks…the sight of sweets made me jitter. After I gave birth and received the all clear I went on a chocolate eating, ice cream craving, doughnut raging rampage. That is until my doctor told me that I need to chill out because the chances of me developing Type 2 diabetes are extremely high with my family history. Soooo, It’s time to put a halt to my 18 month binge. I’m trying to do better. For an entire month (hopefully it will become a habit) I have committed to not eating “sweets”. Since I said it and proclaimed my will to “P” he is doing everything in his power to hold me to it. That being said, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find a clever way to satisfy my wants.

I mastered the art of making a “get off my back, it’s just fruit” ice cream with just 3 ingredients!

Ingredients:

1-2 Bananas peeled and sliced (depending on how much you want to make)

1 handful of Raspberries (can be substituted for other fruit of choice)

Milk of choice: Almond milk, Soy Milk (whatever you prefer)

Directions:

Place the sliced bananas and raspberries in a container and place in the freezer for 2 hours or more

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 Add bananas and raspberries to a food processor/blender along with a small amount of milk. Add a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

The frozen banana literally turns into soft serve before your eyes!

Voila! You have Banana Raspberry “Ice Cream”!

You can eat it immediately (that’s what I do) or you can place it in the freezer to enjoy later.

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